Vodafone Half Marathon: Rwanda’s Disi, Ethopian Alemu emerge champions


New Delhi : Africans maintained their domination in the third edition of the Vodafone Delhi Half Marathon as Rwanda’s Diudone Disi and Ethiopian Deriba Alemu emerged champions in the Open elite male and female sections respectively here Sunday.

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The Rwandan, one of the title favourites based on his current form, clocked an hour and 43 seconds for a new course record and pocketed the $20,000 prize money.

Kenyan Issac Macharia, second in 1::00:48, was richer by $12,000, while Tanzania’s Dickson Marwa took third place after re-calculations as his chip didn’t register the first time. Marwa clocked 1::02:03 to pocket the third prize of $8,000.

Both Marwa and his compatriot Patrick Mbuvi registered the same time but the former was declared third after the organisers solved the technical glitches in his chip. Marwa beat Mbuvi by a few milliseconds.

In the women’s section, Alemu clocked 1::10:30 to pocket the winner’s cheque of $18,500 while her compatriot Atsede Habtamu took second place in 1::10:36. Kenyan Alice Timbilil was third in 1::10:40.

Habtamu was richer by $12,000 while Timbilil received $8,000.

Russian Irina Timofeyeva, the 2005 champion, failed to impress fans here as she finished a distant ninth in 1::13:35.

Wilson Kiprotich of Kenya, disappointed among the men as he could only finish fifth in 1::02:04 while fellow countryman and 2005 champion Philip Rugut was seventh with a time of 1::02:58.

Ram Singh Yadav successfully defended his title among the Indian men, finishing 16th overall in the Open category as he completed the race in 1::06:09. Deep Chand, currently the country’s top long distance runner, was second among Indians and 17th overall having clocked 1::06:10.

Mukesh Kumar was the third among Indian runners, overall 18th, with a time of 1::06:12.

All the top three Indians are from the Army. Yadav took home the Indian winner’s cheque of $2,500 while Deep Chand was richer by $2,000 and Kumar received $1,500.

Among the Indian women, Kavita Raut fiished first, 15th overall, with a time of 1::18:34. Preethi Rao came in second at 1::20:38, and Vaishali Chatare was third in 1::21:5. The top three women received the same prize money as their male counterparts.

Around 2,300 runners took part in the senior citizens’ run, 7,000 for the half-marathon, 200 for the wheelchair event, and 18,500 people in the Great Delhi Run.

Around 41 corporate houses also participated to raise over Rs.12 million for charity.